Otaniemi – a unique innovation hub

The Aalto University metro station in Otaniemi serves as a gateway to an expanding Aalto University campus. The majority of the university’s core operations will be located here by 2021. 

The Aalto University campus is a truly unique collaborative environment. This ecosystem has an ethos firmly based on openness, experimentation and collaboration and is capable of attracting students, researchers, lecturers and other staff and partners from around the world. Campus has A Grid, one of Europe’s largest growth business hubs, which houses the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Business Incubation Centrer. The first United Nations Technology Innovation Lab (UNTIL) is also located in Otaniemi at the A Grid hub.

A Grids information board in Otaniemi
A Grid's information board in Otaniemi. Photo: City of Espoo

Otaniemi and Keilaniemi area forms a unique innovation cluster. Aalto University, the renowned scientific and research community and national and international companies thrive here. The campus and research area of Otaniemi is the largest hub of high technology, innovation and business hub in Finland and Northern Europe. It features a mix of world-class research organisations, academic institutes and over 800 companies from start-ups to multinational corporations operating in a compact 2×2 km campus. A variety of cultural experiences within walking distance in Tapiola enrich this scientific and economic concentration.

Impressive development projects

Aalto University’s new building Väre opened to the public in September 2018. Väre gathers all departments of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture under one roof. The activities of Aalto University School of Business began also in a new building in Otaniemi, in February 2019.

Väre in Otaniemi
Väre building in Otaniemi. Photo: Janne Ketola

With a little more than 110 million euros spent on construction makes it the single largest building project in the area since the University of Technology’s move to Otaniemi. In addition to the premises of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, the investment includes also the building of the university's shared facilities and a shopping centre A Bloc at the Aalto University metro station.

Otaniemi campus has been renewed in many ways during the recent years. The refurbished Dipoli building has been given a new lease of life and now serves as Aalto University’s main building. The Alvar Aalto-designed university library from 1970 has also been renovated to create a state-of-the-art learning centre, while Helsinki University of Technology’s former main building in Otakaari 1 has been updated to create the so-called Undergraduate Centre.

You can read more about development projects in Otaniemi from our Finnish website.

Aalto University Learning Centre. Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo

Geothermal pilot project in Otaniemi

Close to the Aalto University station in Otaniemi is a unique geothermal energy project that has been attracting significant international attention. According to the plans for the area, energy company St1 will be drill to a depth of seven kilometres. The deepest drill ever undertaken in Finland, this pilot project will create Finland’s first ever geothermal energy plant capable of generating 40 megawatts of emission-free heating.

School as a service

The new metro service also transport local secondary school pupils to the Aalto campus. The pupils study at the university as part of the School as a Service model. Thanks to the metro, learning can be freed from the confines of a single school building and delivered as a multi-faceted service, which will also unlock greater efficiencies with regard to facilities. 

Currently some 3,800 people reside in the Otaniemi‒Keilaniemi area and the population is expected to grow to 15,000 by 2050.

Distance from Helsinki Central Railway Station

11 minutes by metro

Otaniemi 2030 mennessä
Illustration: A-Konsultit

Otaniemi development

In Otaniemi, the focus will be on the Aalto University premises. Otaniemi has also become more closely connected with nearby Tapiola and the metro line has connected the area more closely to Helsinki.

The development of Otaniemi goes hand in hand with that of Keilaniemi, as these two areas will eventually merge into an unbroken urban area. There are plans to build a dense urban neighbourhood for 3,000 residents in Kivimies, on the edge of the two areas.

Kivimies’ construction will begin in the early years of the 2020s, and it will be mostly completed by the early 2030.

Otaniemi’s traffic connections will improve even further once the Jokeri Light Rail Line starts running in 2024. There will be three Jokeri Light Rail Line stops in Otaniemi.

Illustration of Ainonaukio in Otaniemi
Illustration of Ainonaukio in Otaniemi. Illustration: Raide-Jokeri


Project Director Antti Mäkinen, antti.o.makinen@espoo.fi, +358 50 593 1339

Read more on Aalto CRE website

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